Keeping Baby Safe While Sleeping

The recent recall of the Rock’n’Play Sleepers has somewhat rocked the parenting world. I see posts every day from parents either 1) frantic because it’s been their primary sleeping place for their infant or 2) scared because if other babies died in it, that meant their baby could have died too.

And let’s be frank about this one, because the severity requires it: BABIES DIED in them.

As a doula, my first response is all about safe sleep. I have been encouraging families to find safe and sleep-approved alternatives to Rock’n’Plays since BEFORE this announcement. But my second response is one of general safety.

As parents, especially new parents, you are constantly bombarded by new potential fears. Am I feeding my baby enough? Is she getting the right kind of stimulation? Should I vaccinate? When is it safe to take him out in public?

I would hedge a bet that many of you didn’t even think about the possibility that the items you have for your baby could be a threat; the many things that you lovingly and painstakingly chose for your precious child could pose a safety risk for him! I can tell you that I didn’t when I was in your shoes.

Fortunately, there are ways to know if something is safe.

For “baby containers” ie: items that hold your baby when you aren’t, such as swings, rockers, bouncers, etc, there is an easy way to know if it is safe for sleep. Only CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) -approved items labelled as either “sleeper” or “bassinet” are considered safe for sleeping (this obviously doesn’t include a crib, which is a safe sleep space, but isn’t labelled with either title).

But why is this so important?

Because, like I said before, BABIES HAVE DIED.

I get it; you’re exhausted, you haven’t gotten a good stretch of sleep, and your two-week-old loooooves his swing.

So what other choice do you have?

Well, we can help. Or you can talk to your pediatrician. You can call a friend or family member to come over so you can lay down for a few hours.

Ultimately, we want you, your baby, and your family well-rested and safe.

So if you are that frantic parent, seeking an alternative solution because your baby has always slept in his Rock’n’Play and you don’t know what to do, call us. We’d be happy to help.


Emily Swegert

A Cincinnati native, Emily transplanted to Michigan and back again before settling down to attend college at Miami University. After graduating with her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, Emily spent several years in a variety of classrooms before moving into higher education and completing her Master’s in Organizational Leadership.

Emily has been serving families for over ten years, first as an educator, then a counselor, and finally now as a doula. Emily is the current owner of Tender Beginnings, and together with Kate Rich, works to bring doula support to families of all types in Greater Cincinnati and Dayton.

Emily lives in Liberty Township with her partner Eric, their daughter Piper and their dog, Kira.